OB Rag Coverage of the Occupy Wall Street & Occupy San Diego Movements

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~Margaret Mead

The OB Rag has been following the Occupy Wall Street Movement since it moved into Zuccotti Park on the 17th of September, and several of us have been involved, on some level, in Occupy San Diego since it began planning later that same month. The articles on this page are an archive of pieces we have posted about the Occupy Movement.

Occupy San Diego

Get involved! For more information; on the Web, #OccupySD, Twitter, Facebook, Ustream & Livestream. For daily updates on issues relating to local efforts, subscribe to the OccupySD email newsletter maintained by Ray Lutz. Occupy San Diego needs bodies on the ground at 3rd and B St, Downtown San Diego

Occupy Wallstreet Fights Back Against Police Surveillance by Launching “Occucopter” Citizen Drone

December 30, 2011 by Source
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In response to constant police surveillance, violence, and arrests, Occupy Wall Street protesters and legal observers have been turning their cameras back on the police.

By Noel Sharkey and Sarah Knuckey / AlterNet / December 22, 2011

The police may soon be watching you in your garden picking your vegetables or your bottom. As police plans for increasing unmanned aerial surveillance take shape, there is a new twist. Private citizens can now buy their own surveillance drones to watch the police.

This week in New York, Occupy Wall Street protesters have a new toy to help them expose potentially dubious actions of the New York police department. In response to constant police surveillance, police violence and thousands of arrests, Occupy Wall Street protesters and legal observers have been turning their cameras back on the police. But police have sometimes made filming difficult through physical obstruction and “frozen zones”. This occurred most notably during the eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where police prevented even credentialed journalists from entering.

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Occupy San Diego Rallies in Support of the American Flag and in Solidarity With Egypt

December 24, 2011 by Source
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By Nadin Abbott / December 23, 2011

During the early morning hours of December 23rd the Occupy San Diego encampment was raided by San Diego Police, and three people were arrested, at least two of them seemingly without cause.

Later that day, the American flag that’s been guarded by Occupiers at Civic Center Plaza (dubbed “Freedom Plaza” by occupiers) was confiscated from a Marine Corp veteran of the Gulf War, John Canter. Carter stated “I was guarding the flag during the raid. They took anything not held.”

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After Continued Bogus Arrests and Harassment of Occupiers, San Diegans Call for Resignation of Police Chief William Lansdowne and For a Protest March Today – Friday -at 4pm

December 23, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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The bogus arrests of Occupy San Diego activists continue. Within the last 24 to 36 hours, a man was arrested for burning sage in the Plaza, a man videotaping another’s arrest was grabbed by the neck, choked, and brought down by three officers, a veteran carrying an American flag had the flag taken from him, two others awake in sleeping bags were roughly arrested.

Freedom Plaza has now been “cleared” of those demonstrators. And we have Police Chief William Lansdowne to thank – as well as his boss, Mayor Jerry Sanders. Sanders is a lame duck and a burnt out politician.

Lansdowne takes his orders from Sanders, but Lansdown could object to the ridiculous and unconstitutional manner his troops are ordered to harass and arrest peaceful demonstrators trying to exercise their First Amendment rights.

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UC Riverside Study: 150 Occupy Camps in California

December 22, 2011 by Source

By Steven Cuevas / KPCC /Dec. 16, 2011

Occupy protests have spread to nearly 150 locations equally distributed between Northern and Southern California. Researchers at UC Riverside used social media sites like Facebook to track the movement’s growth from large urban centers to remote mountain towns.

Sociology professor Christopher Chase-Dunn and graduate student Michaela Curran-Strange manned the study, which has traced the Occupy movement to some far-flung locations.

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San Diego Police continue harassment of OccupySD by making outrageous arrests – videographer choked while trying to film other arrests at midnight

December 22, 2011 by Frank Gormlie

It was five minutes after midnight this morning (Dec 22) when five San Diego Police officers walked into Freedom Plaza and began making arrests of peaceful Occupy San Diego protesters keeping vigil.

They walked up on Alan who was laying down – not sleeping as he had a cigarette going – yanked the cig out of his mouth and threw it on the ground, placed handcuffs on him as he sat there, then pulled the tall peaceful protester out of his sleeping bag and took him.

Other protesters asked the officers what the charges were – repeatedly – and no officer answered.

Then as occupier Chris was videotaping Alan’s arrest, police moved up to Chris, grabbed him, pulled him off his feet while choking him, and then altogether three of them wrestled him to the ground.

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Occupy San Diego News: Reoccupation of Plaza and Occupation at Murrieta Foreclosure

December 16, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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A lot is going on with Occupy San Diego.

Occupiers Plans To “Re-Occupy” Freedom Plaza Starting Saturday December 17th

First, a group of the occupiers are planning to re-occupy “Freedom Plaza” – the name given to the Civic Center Plaza by demonstrators – on Saturday, December 17th. They believe they have a right to sleep in public space, and declare:

“Therefore we’re lawfully re-occupying Freedom Plaza.”

Murrieta House Occupied to Foreclose Foreclosure

By Mirna Alfonso / Murrieta Patch / Dec. 15, 2011

A disabled and bedridden schoolteacher Lesliane Bouchard, is in danger of being evicted. She vowed not to leave her home at 40734 Mountain Pride Drive in Murrieta.

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Occupy the Hood at Chicano Park – Dec. 17th

December 16, 2011 by Source

Statement by Occupy the Hood:

On December 17, 2011 Occupy the Hood invites you to participate and to let your voice be heard. Our communities have suffered due to neglect by elected officials and criminalization and harassment from the police for way too long. The Occupy movement has changed the national discussion from one of putting blame on individuals for their “own misfortunes” to putting the blame of the crisis on the real criminals- the 1%. The Occupy movement has also highlighted the growing wealth inequality in the worlds riches country.

At 1 in the afternoon we will be holding an open mic session in Chicano Park. This is a space to discuss the many grievances that effects our communities. Afterwards we will hold a general assembly so that we may form solutions in a horizontal manner.

Stop racial profiling and police brutality! Stop the raids and deportations! Stop foreclosures! Community control of community resources!

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Occupy Portland Outsmarts Police, Creating Blueprint for Other Occupations

December 16, 2011 by Source
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by Lester Macgurdy / Portland Occupier / Dec. 15, 2011

The Portland Occupation stumbled upon a tactical innovation regarding occupying public spaces. This evolution in tactics was spontaneous, and went unreported in the media. On December 3rd, we took a park and were driven out of it by riot police; that much made the news. What the media didn’t report is that we re-took the park later that same evening, and the police realized that it would be senseless to attempt to clear it again, so they packed up their military weaponry and left. Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction.

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OBcean and Occupy San Diego Hunger Striker to Hold Press Conference Today, Wed., Dec. 14

December 14, 2011 by Staff

Protester Ends Hunger Strike to Join Court Battles

A press conference will be held today, Wednesday, Dec. 14th, at 5:00 pm, at the Civic Center Plaza by the Occupy San Diego activist who has been on a hunger strike for 36 days.

Occupy protester and hunger strike participant John Kenney, who was arrested earlier this week for “illegal lodging” at the Civic Center, is currently on his 36th day of the hunger strike. It is anticipated that Mr. Kenny, who as a member of the occupy movement in San Diego has been occupying the Civic Center since October 7, 2011, will announce the end of his hunger strike, his food deprivation protest. John is an OBcean and lives less than a block from the ocean.

In a press statement, Mr. Kenney is quoted:

“I went on hunger strike in an attempt to get the City of San Diego, its Mayor, City Council and the San Diego Police Department to recognize our right to occupy at least part of Civic Center, but they won’t even put the issue on the agenda.”

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Disabled Teacher Brings Occupy Our Homes Movement to Murrieta

December 13, 2011 by Staff
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Occupy Our Homes Press Conference and Occupation

Please see the Facebook Event, invite your friends and repost!

MURRIETA – A disabled and bedridden schoolteacher has vowed not to leave her home if evicted. After gathering over 3000 supporters on a change.org petition and gathering press coverage of her plight, Lesliane Bouchard has now called on the www.occcupyourhomes.org movement to support her plight. Facing foreclosure, there is a simple solution. Ms. Bouchard has approved by the Hardest Hit States Fund principal reduction program. If First Mortgage Corporation opts into this program, she will have the funding to keep her house.

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Percussion grenades used to disperse Seattle protesters

December 13, 2011 by Source

SEATTLE — Police who used “flash-bang” percussion grenades to disperse protesters who blocked an entrance to a Port of Seattle facility Monday say 11 demonstrators have been arrested.

The demonstration was part of a national effort to disrupt West Coast port traffic.

Officers moved in Monday evening after Occupy Seattle protesters tried to set up a makeshift barrier near the entrances to Terminal 5 and Terminal 18, using scraps of wood, aluminum debris and any other material they could scrape together.

Demonstrators blocked traffic, hurling flares, bags of paint, bricks, rebar and other debris at officers and police horses, Detective Jeff Kappel said. One officer was treated by medics after a bag of paint hit his face.

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San Diego Shows Solidarity for National Day of Action for Human Rights

December 12, 2011 by Source
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By Davina Lynch

Saturday, December 10 2011: Occupy San Diego gathered with Veteran’s For Peace, ACCE, LGBT groups, PSS San Diego and APRL, and members of other progressive and interfaith groups to come together showing solidarity for the National Day of Action for Human Rights.

Congresswoman Susan Davis and Seisen Saunders, a Buddhist priest from the Sweetwater Zen Center, gave speeches to kick off the march and to show their support for the movement, both expressing that we are all in this together. This was followed by a march through the Gaslamp District of downtown with protesters chanting, “We are unstoppable, a new world is possible!”

Come inside for photos!

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West Coast Port Shutdown – Breaking News and Updates from San Diego

December 12, 2011 by Staff
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UPDATES 5:44 PM – Big Ed Schultz of msnbc mentions the West Coast ports shut down, while highlighting east coast actions around voting rights. 5:41 PM -  Protesters arrive at Port of Oakland less than an hour ago –  As three helicopters hover overhead, as many as 2,000 protesters are entering the port, a much […]

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Occupy San Diego to Hold Protest March Today – Dec. 6th – Against Continued First Amendment Violations by Police

December 6, 2011 by Source
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By OccupySD Media team

  • OSD to march this evening to protest continued violations of 1st Amendment rights
  • Protesters demand police chief resignation
  • Police spokesman lies about reason for latest police raid
  • Another protester to join hunger strike

Occupy San Diego will march Tuesday December 6 at 6:30pm from Freedom Plaza (formerly known as Civic Center) to the San Diego Police station on Broadway and 14th in protest of the continued police brutality, misconduct and unlawful arrests at the OSD protests.

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California’s Higher Education in Violence – A Lesson From the Occupy Movement

December 6, 2011 by Source
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By Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing / Dec. 5, 2011

We are so frequently exposed to violence in the United States, most of us probably figure that, like pornography, we know violence when we see it. Enemies go to war, and we watch the carnage live on TV’s 24-hour news cycle. People physically harm each other on our streets and in our homes, and we tally their numbers with the rest of the tidy crime statistics. We replicate violent imagery in film and television, in music and video games, and eagerly consume it as entertainment. Yes, violence is pervasive, and most of us probably figure we have it pegged. But we’d be wrong.

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Join the “Occupy Our Homes” Protest in San Diego – Tuesday, December 6th

December 5, 2011 by Source
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Help defend families facing foreclosure and support filling empty, bank-owned homes with those in need.

By Dave Lagstein, ACCE

Last week thousands made a pledge to defend our homes and communities from the big Wall Street banks that have been on a three-year-long foreclosure binge, kicking struggling families out of homes all across the country.

The 99% is saying “No” and fighting back against the big banks in a big way. Community members nationwide are rallying to stop foreclosures, keep families in their homes, and fill vacant homes with displaced residents.

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San Diego Police Continue to Harass Occupy San Diego Demonstrators: 9 More Arrested Early Monday Morning

December 5, 2011 by Frank Gormlie

In their continuing harassment of Occupy San Diego demonstrators, Police arrested nine more at the Civic Center Plaza, early Monday morning – the 5th of December. 7 were taken into custody for “illegal lodging”, one for allegedly “resisting arrest” and the ninth for “vandalism”.

San Diego Police have kept up their constant monitoring and harassment of San Diego’s version of Occupy Wall Street since October 14th. Their unstated goal – doubtlessly ordered by Mayor Jerry Sanders – is to rid City Hall of any sign of the occupiers, and they have been doing this with a drumbeat of arrests and citations for very minor offenses.

While nightly hundreds of homeless people sleep on sidewalks in tents and tarps all over downtown San Diego, the demonstrators have been prevented from using tents, tarps, sleeping bags and for sleeping in and around the Civic Center Plaza.

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National Occupy Matters – the End of Phase One?

December 2, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Every now and then, we need to take stock of the Occupy Wall Street movement, not just here in San Diego, but matters of the movement across the United States. And right now seems very appropriate what with the recent crack-downs and break-up of the encampments by police on the occupations around the country.

Questions abound.

What has happened? Is the Occupy movement moving into Phase Two? Just where is it going? This question is on every pundit’s lips, across the political spectrum, from left to right. And observers, supporters, and opportunists everywhere are unhesitating ready to offer advice to the fledgling wave of activism whose abbreviations are OWS.

What is next for the movement that has transfixed the nation, changed our lexicon, that one-eightieth the political discussion in this country – all in less than three months?

Are we now entering the “Winter of Discontent” where the movement breaks up, or breaks down into smaller parts, all the while bubbling up for a protest here and a protest there, but over-all submerging itself until spring? Or will the Occupy movement remain visible, creating new ways and forms to remain constantly visible?

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Be Part of the OB Holiday Parade and “Occupy The North Pole”

December 1, 2011 by Patty Jones
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Who doesn’t want a chance to be in the OB Holiday Parade! We contacted Patricia Hume, who was mentioned in the comments of the OB Holiday post we put up last night, and received an enthusiastic reply from her when we asked if we could help promote her idea of having an “Occupy the North Pole” contingent in the parade this year.

This opportunity is open to anyone, particularly Occupy people, just remember to stay in the theme of the Holiday Parade and in the realm of the North Pole.

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Local OBcian Harassed and Arrested by Police at Occupy San Diego

December 1, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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In their continuing harassment of Occupy San Diego demonstrators at the downtown Plaza area, San Diego Police have arrested a well-known OBcian, Curtis Williams. Williams has been very visible during the nearly two -month old movement, having led several General Assemblies over that time, plus he is deeply involved in several of the movement’s committees. Doubtlessly, police knew him. He was also highlighted in a recent article by Matt Hall about the occupiers in the San Diego U-T.

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National Occupy Movement Taking On Foreclosed Homes

December 1, 2011 by Source
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Local Teach-In in Prep for National Action on December 6th

By David Lagstein, San Diego ACCE

Note: ACCE is organizing a “Know Your Rights” teach-in on Saturday, December 3 at 11am at the San Diego Civic Center Plaza, which will include a discussion of our local participation in the national day of action.

Four years ago Wall Street bankers crashed our economy after reckless gambling with our homes and our livelihoods. Then they looted our Treasury for bailouts and bonuses while their 1% allies used the economic chaos as an excuse to rob us of the investments we’ve made in helping every Californian achieve the American Dream.

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Enough handwringing about Occupy, already.

November 30, 2011 by Source
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By rexymeteorite / Daily Kos / November 29th

There has been a lot of hand-wringing about the direction of the Occupy movement, its message, its leaderless nature, its outside-of-the-beltway tactics and the everyone-is-invited attitude of the Occupiers. There has been much consternation about Occupy foregoing the two party system debate and instead focusing on direct action, and other ways to influence our rusted out old political system without having to argue about democrats or republicans. While concerns about the movement should be addressed, and problems solved in a timely manner, these specific criticisms have gotten as stale as week old bread.

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Selective Enforcement? San Diego Occupier Arrested While Attempting to Register Voters at Civic Center Plaza

November 29, 2011 by Frank and Patty
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After setting up a table at Civic Center Plaza this afternoon to do voter registration, an Occupy San Diego organizer was arrested by police for “trespass and refusing to leave”.

At approximately 1:30 pm, Ray Lutz was sitting at a table with several signs stating “Register to vote”, and was in the process of registering a man, when a half dozen police officers approached him – including Captain Mark Jones – .

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Occupy San Diegans Join Occupy LA In Solidarity in Face-off With Police

November 29, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Two dozen local activists join LA protesters at the hour of their eviction

When a few of us in Occupy San Diego this past weekend heard that our sisters and brothers in Occupy LA were facing eviction early Monday morning, about two dozen of us traveled up to LA and camped out with them in solidarity.

When OSD veteran Julie M. put up on facebook that she wanted to drive up to LA and show support for their occupation, a number of us jumped at the chance to drive up there with her. So Howard, Humberto, Claudia and I crammed into Julie’s Prius and headed out for LA, leaving from the Civic Center Plaza on Sunday, the 27th.

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OccupySD Sweet Potato WMD Destroyed; Cops Punk’d By Mini-Tent Encampment

November 29, 2011 by Doug Porter
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It was a strange day at OccupySD. Tensions with the police reached a breaking point on at least two occasions. Many people including our own Frank Gormlie were off to the north in support of what was expected to be a major confrontation between the City of Los Angeles and Occupy protestors there.

Incident number one occurred earlier in the day. Some good hearted soul donated three cases of fresh sweet potatoes to OccupySD. The police asked that the tubers be transported elsewhere immediately, saying that they were afraid of the yams being used as weapons.

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Some in Occupy San Diego Vow to Bring Back Tents

November 28, 2011 by Source
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By Dave Rice / San Diego Reader / November 28

Occupy San Diego is preparing to once again attempt to set up a tent encampment in Civic Center Plaza this afternoon, according to a brief release the group prepared last night.

Energized by a video shot in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving day depicting eight or more police officers holding a wheelchair-bound man face down while making an arrest, at least 50 members of Occupy San Diego have decided that they have waited long enough for a discussion with the city council on ending the sleeping ban that has recently been enforced in the Plaza and surrounding blocks.

See the video inside…

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SWAT Teams Meet in San Diego; Is Occupy on the Menu? You Betcha!

November 28, 2011 by Doug Porter
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While Occupy movements around California are struggling to maintain a presence in the face of ever-increasing pressures from local governments, law enforcement “tactical officers” from around the State are ensconced at San Diego’s Manchester Hyatt this week for their annual State-wide confab and trade show. There are well over a hundred departments within California featuring SWAT Teams—which is the common name for tactical police groups—, with San Diego County along offering up eleven such outfits. There are so many such outfits—not including University and other specialized police departments—that the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO-not to be confused with the conservative/libertarian think tank of the same name) breaks the State into seven regions for administrative purposes.

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San Diegans Call for Resignation of Police Chief William Lansdowne

November 26, 2011 by Source
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An Online Petition by Citizens of San Diego

Why This Is Important

Chief Lansdowne has mishandled the Occupy San Diego Protest. He has facilitated the waste of over 2.4 million dollars in 30 days on suppressing free speech at Civic Center Plaza in San Diego.

He has ordered the macing and beating of peaceful protesters and continues to waste over $57,000 per day on intimidating, harassing, and suppressing the peaceful protest rather than protecting and serving the interests of those exercising their freedom of speech and assembly.

We the Citizens of San Diego call on Chief Lansdowne to resign his post as Chief of Police immediately.

Sign this Petition!

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The shocking truth about the crackdown on the Occupy movement

November 26, 2011 by Source

The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class’s venality

By Naomi Wolf / guardian.co.uk / November 25, 2011

US citizens of all political persuasions are still reeling from images of unparallelled police brutality in a coordinated crackdown against peaceful OWS protesters in cities across the nation this past week. An elderly woman was pepper-sprayed in the face; the scene of unresisting, supine students at UC Davis being pepper-sprayed by phalanxes of riot police went viral online; images proliferated of young women – targeted seemingly for their gender – screaming, dragged by the hair by police in riot gear; and the pictures of a young man, stunned and bleeding profusely from the head, emerged in the record of the middle-of-the-night clearing of Zuccotti Park.

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Ocean Beach Local and San Diego Occupier Continues Hunger Strike Through Thanksgiving

November 26, 2011 by Annie Lane
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For most people, Thanksgiving Day is as much about the food as it is self reflection. The turkey cooked to a golden brown, mashed potatoes topped with gravy, salty stuffing, sweet cranberry sauce and a collection of pies for the tasting.

But for OBcean John Kenney, this Thanksgiving was spent sipping glasses of water and contemplating the state of politics.

Kenney has been on a hunger strike for 19 days.

He announced his intentions at the San Diego City Council meeting on Nov. 8 and has since only indulged in water and the occasional coffee. His hope is simple: to get the attention of the City Council members and begin a dialogue regarding the rights of San Diego occupiers to gather at the Civic Center.

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